Baltimore Orioles: The future is now for Kevin Gausman
Photo: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
With a sweep in their double-header on Sunday the Orioles have a chance to move into first place in the AL East. That’s a statement that seems impossible for anyone who watched this team in May, but this isn’t the same team we saw in May.
Much of the deadweight has been cut from the roster, and in its place has been much more consistent production, especially from the offensive side. The problem the Orioles face now after adding all these quality players is how to keep all of them on the roster.
The Orioles roster issues have been a topic of conversation for much of the year, but now it seems to be coming to a real crossroads. There are just too many players for too few roster spots.
It’s obvious their first priority has to be moving one of their position players. Which one is expendable and which one can bring some return value will be the difficult questions for Orioles management. Unfortunately, at the moment there are 6 players fighting for playing time at two positions. The Orioles will have to say goodbye to at least one of those players.
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Another issue has to be what to do with Kevin Gausman. Right now, the hopeful ace of the future for the Orioles is being shuttle back and forth from AAA on the taxi-squad. He’s just too talented to be wasted that way.
It seems the Orioles want to find a stable role for Gausman, but the roster inflexibility is making that virtually impossible at the moment. This has been the case for most of his career now, but it’s been an issue too long.
One possible solution could be dealing Wei-Yin Chen. It’s strange to suggest that a team so much in contention deal away one of their most consistent starters, but it may be one of the better options right now.
Chen is on the last year of his contract, and he won’t be an Oriole next season. Baseball has seen a steady increase in pitcher’s contracts for some time now, and the Orioles just aren’t going to give Chen that kind of money.
Moving Chen before the deadline could also bring the Orioles a decent return of prospects. Those are players the Orioles could use to replenish the roster next season when so many players are expected to leave via free agency.
More importantly for the moment, it would free up a rotation spot for Gausman this season, and allow the future of the Orioles to develop a sense of routine and stability.
It would take the perfect package for the deal to be considered, but dealing Chen may be best for the Orioles this season and beyond.